SUNSHINE STATE

SUNSHINE STATE (2002)
Sony Pictures Classics
Director: John Sayles
Character’s Name: Billy Trucks

“Sunshine State,” by the acclaimed director John Sayles, deals with the lives of people residing in a beachside community in Florida facing the choice of holding on to its traditional way of life, or welcoming the prospect of development and modernization. Sayles has put together a fine ensemble cast including Edie Falco, Angela Bassett, and Timothy Hutton.

Michael says about the immensely respected filmmaker, John Sayles. “He was a wonder to work with. He was the most relaxed, assured, and generous director I have ever worked with (even more so than Bruce McDonald, if that was possible). The script was written by Sayles and deals with a large ensemble who are involved in one way or another with real estate development on the Florida coast. It is a complex drama that interweaves numerous storylines and characters. Only a filmmaker as accomplished as Sayles could make this kind of movie, but he has influenced so many American directors. Films like ‘Boogie Nights’ come to mind as another film that uses this kind of ensemble cast. (By the way, I really liked ‘Boogie Nights.’) I played a character named Billy Trucks, who worked on the land-clearing crew for the real estate developer. The character John wrote was interesting and multi-dimensional. It is a small supporting role, but the chance to work with John was so appealing that I would have played a smaller role just to be part of the cast.”

Michael gives a strong performance, delivering a number of sardonic lines with great comedic timing. This fine film opened in North America in the summer of 2002.

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